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ARMY SLAVE-CATCHING PROHIBITED.
that the alternative of conceded Disunion or constrained Emancipation might yet be avoided. His first Annual Message * cautiously avoided the subject; but proposed a systematic colonization—in some territory to be acquired outside of the present limits of our country—of those Blacks who had already, "or might thereafter, become free in consequence of the war. He coolly added:
"It might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization."
Congress acceded to this, so far as to appropriate $100,000 in aid of the colonization as aforesaid of the freedmen of the District of Columbia; which sum, or most of it, was duly squandered—to the satisfaction of certain speculators, and the intense, protracted misery of a few deluded Blacks, who were taken to a wretched sand-spit, known as Cow Island, on the coast of Hayti, and kept there so long as they could be: and this was the practical finale of the Colonization project.
The XXXVIIth Congress having convened' for its second (or first regular) session, Gen. Wilson, of Mass., gave' notice in Senate of a bill to punish officers and privates of our armies for arresting, detaining, or delivering persons claimed as fugitive slaves; and Mr. O. Lovejoy, of 111., simultaneously introduced a bill of like tenor in the House. Mr. Wikon submitted his bill on the 23d; a resolve to the same effect having been submitted by Mr. Sumner six days before; as one of like nature was this day laid before the House by
Mr. James F. Wilson, of Iowa. Mr. Wilson, of Mass., soon reported' his bill; of which he pressed the consideration ten days afterward; but it was resisted with great ingenuity and earnestness by all the Opposition and by a few of the more conservative Administration Senators. Other bills having obtained precedence in the Senate, Mr. F. P. Blair reported' to the House from its Military Committee, an additional Article of War, as follows:
"All officers are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due. Any officer who shall be found guilty by courtmartial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service."
This bill was strenuously opposed by Messrs. Mallory and Wickliffe, of Kentucky, as also by Mr. Yallandigham, of Ohio, while ably advocated by Mr. Bingham, of Ohio and passed by a (substantially) party vote: Yeas 83; Nays 44. Having been received by the Senate and referred to its Military Committee, it was duly reported' therefrom by Mr. H. Wilson; vehemently opposed by Messrs. Garret Davis, of Ky., Carlile, of Va., Saulsbury, of Del., and supported by Messrs. Wilson, of Mass.. Howard, of Michigan, Sherman, of Ohio, McDougall, of Cal., and Anthony, of R. I., and passed:" Teas 29; Nays 9—a party vote, save that Mr. McDougall, of Cal., voted Yea. The bill thus enacted was approved by the President, March 13th, 1862.
Gen. Wilson, upon evidence that the above act was inadequate to restrain the negro-catching propensities of some officers in the service, pro
1861. 'Dec. 4. 'Jan. 6. 1862. "Feb. 25. 'March 4. "March 10. 11 April 3. "Aprillt » Deo. 14. "Dee. IB. "Pec. 22. "Fob. U
posed" further action to the same
end; and the Senate considered " his
resolution of inquiry. Mr. Grimes,
of Iowa, in supporting it, made a
statement as follows:
"In the month of February last, an officer of the 3d regiment of Iowa infantry, stationed at a small town in Missouri, succeeded in capturing several Rebel bridgeburners, and some recruiting officers belonging to Price's army. The information that led to their capture was furnished by two or three remarkably shrewd and intelli
fent slaves, claimed by a Lt.-Colonel in the lebel army. Shortly afterward, the master dispatched an agent, with instructions to seize the slaves, and convey them within the Rebel lines: whereupon, the Iowa officer seized them, and reported the circumstances to headquarters. The slaves, soon understanding the full import of Gen. Halleck's celebrated Order No. 8, two of them attempted an escape. This was regarded as an unpardonable sin. The Iowa officer was immediately placed under arrest; and a detachment of the Missouri State Militia—men in the pay of this Government, and under the command of Gen. Halleck—were sent in pursuit of the fugitives. The hunt was successful. The slaves were caught, and returned to their traitor master; but not until one of them had been shot by order of the soldier in command of the pursuing party."
Mr. Sumner followed in an able speech in advocacy; but the subject was overlaid by others deemed more urgent; and the bill was not conclusively acted on.
At an early period " of the session, Gen. Wilson had proposed a reference of all laws relating to persons of color in the District of Columbia, and to the arrest of fugitives from labor, to the Standing Committee on Baid District, with instructions that they consider the expediency of a compensated Abolition of Slavery therein; and he soon afterward introduced" a bill of like purport; which was read twice and referred ■" to the Committee aforesaid. Mr. Morrill, of Maine, duly reported" from said Committee Gen. Wilson's
bill; which provided for the Abolition of Slavery in the District, and the payment to the masters from the Treasury of an average compensation of $300 each for the slaves thus manumitted. The bill was so amended as to abolish also the Black Laws of said District. Mr. G. Davis, of Ky., bitterly opposed the bill; proposing so to amend it as to 6end out of the country all persons freed thereby; which was ardently supported by Mr. Saulsbury, of Del. Mr. Doolittle (Repub.), of Wise., favored colonizing the freedmen, but moved to add "with their own consent;" which prevailed—Teas 23; Nays 16—and Mr. Davis's proposition, as thus amended, was lost by a tie vote—19 to 19; and the emancipating billafter having been ably supported by Messrs. Wilmot, of Pa., Hale, of N. H., Pomeroy, of Kansas (against paying the masters), King, of N. T, Wilson, of Mass., Harlan, of Iowa, Wilkinson, of Minn., Sumner, of Mass., Fessenden, of Maine, Browning, of 111., and Morrill, of Maine, and further opposed by Messrs. Wright (Union), of Ind., WilJey, of West Ya. (who wished the question of Emancipation submitted to a popular vote of the District), Kennedy, of Md., McDougall, of Cal., sad Bayard, of Del.—was passed:" ^ eas 29; Nays 14—as follows:
Yeas—Messrs. Anthonv, Browning,, Chandler, Clark, Collamer, Dixoo, Doolittle, Fessenden, Foot, Foster, Grimes, Hale, Harlan, Harris, Howard, Howe, King, La"16of Ind., Lane, of Kansas, Morrill, Pomeroy, Sherman, Sumner, Ten Evck, Trumbull Wade, Wilkinson, Wilmot, and Wilson, of Mass.—29.
Nats—Messrs. Bayard, Carlile, D*^ Henderson, Kennedy, Lathnm, McDotipul, Nesmith, Powell, Saulsbury, Stark, Willey, Wilson, of Mo., and Wright—14.
against Slavery as the main cause of our subsisting troubles in a Special Message," which proposed that the Houses of Congress should unite in adopting this joint resolution:
"Resolved, That the United States, in order to cooperate with any State which may adopt gradual abolition of Slavery, give to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State, in its discretion, to compensate it for the inconvenience, public and private, produced by such change of system."
This proposition he commended in these guarded and deferential terms:
"Some of the anomalies of the slavehokling lyetem were brought to light in the execution of this measure. For instance: whilo it had long been usual for White men to sell their puti-colored children, there were no known precedents for a like thrifty procedure on the